Sunday, January 17, 2016

Disenchanted Wizard makes progress...and the next project in line

Just found a post on my blog that was begun the other day and never completed. In fact I don't seem to have got beyond opening the page. So here was this good solid blank space just waiting for me to put some of my best thoughts in it.

Okay, it will accept second-best, third, fourth, etc.

Over the Christmas holiday period (which for me is as long or as short as I like, pretty much, being retired) I sent off a copy of the 'final' version of the my third children's book to my co-writer/editor/commentator/whatever and so far we've worked through the first eight chapters without the relationship busting up, or even showing signs of doing. (This hasn't always been the case with the books we've worked on.)

However, the first eight chapters have been written and rewritten and rewritten already, so it was a matter of making sure we were thoroughly satisfied with what was there. In one three-hour face-to-face session everything was pretty much ticked off, and that was after I'd already done a lot of further tidying up and reshuffling and all the other stuff that hopefully will comprise the book's first part.

From chapter nine up to twenty, however, it's going to be a different story. This section has already been completely rewritten after the first version was consigned to the dustbin of history. (What it is to have a co-person who insists 'You can do better.') However, we took a look at chapter nine the other day ('taking a look' consists of me thinking I've done my best and her replying with heaps of comments showing where I haven't done my best), and while it kept its framework and lots of its material, things had be shifted about, things had to be tidied up to make more sense, the irritable heroine had to be softened down a bit (otherwise, in spite of her status, she might have been replaced with a more amenable character) and so on.

Chapter nine has just been returned to me with further comments, but...and this is the good news...chapter ten is now under scrutiny. That sounds like progress!

In the periods while I've been waiting for chapters to turn up in my email again, with comments, I've been continuing to type up the letters I sent to my mother from London to Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1968-70, when I was studying at the London Opera Centre. The letters I've been doing over the last week or two are from a time when I'd finished at the Centre and was trying to make sense of what to do next, since in some respects I'd 'failed' the course. 'Failed' isn't the right word; it was more the point that I'd lost confidence in my abilities after coming from a place where I was a relatively big fish in a small pond, to the opposite status.

As I've typed these letters I've been posting edited versions online, on the Hannagan This began life as a place for our family to put on family news and history, and this has happened in a random way, but it's also proved worth using for these letters, which I began to post online back in in November 2012. They then wend their way through the months, those there's a gap at one point when other things took over. I'll have to go through and link them one to another, in order to make them readable.

However, I'm coming to the end of the original letters, and have been thinking for some time about forming them into a book, since a few people have found them interesting in their current, scattered format. So that's probably the next project after The Disenchanted Wizard finally makes gets himself sorted out.